Major: Actuarial Science
Program: Temple in Paris: French Language at the Sorbonne
Where: Paris, France
When: Summer Session II, 2006
Favorite Course: Cours Pratique
Favorite Dish: Steak-frites
Next Destination: Japan or Italy
How do you feel about your language learning experience?
I loved learning French while I was abroad. Not everyone in the class spoke English, so French was the common language in the classroom. The teachers are trained to teach international students. If there was a word that we didn’t know, the teacher used simpler terms so we would understand the meaning.
What was a typical day like for you while abroad?
I started my day with breakfast. Breakfast included a baguette slice, butter, an assortment of jelly, and a selection of water, orange juice, apple juice, coffee and tea. Then I’d shower and get ready for class. For the first two weeks I began class at 10:30 a.m. The following two weeks I had phonetics lab so I’d begin at 9 am. I’d have lab for an hour then we’d take the Metro to class. I’d have class for two hours. After class, I’d usually stop at a vendor and buy a panini or crepe to eat as lunch. I was there during the heat wave so after class we’d sit on the terrace because the rooms were not air conditioned. Most times I’d take a nap or we’d wait for every one to come back from their classes to do a little sight seeing. We’d make an easy dinner on the hotplates provided. We spent the better part of our evenings on the terrace; it closed at 11p.m. After that, we’d sit on the bench in front of the building talking with the other students that lived at Foyer, until we got tired, only to do it all again the next day.
What is one piece of advice you would pass on to a student who is about to study abroad?
The advice I would offer anyone planning to study abroad would be to discard common stereotypes and previous expectations. Similar to America, France is a big melting pot. There are so many races and ethnicities represented there. Additionally, you meet a great deal of new people there that you can connect with personally.
How has this experience changed you?
Going to France has helped complete my transition into adulthood. I’m usually away from my family for the better part of a year, but this time it was different because I was thousands of miles away. I couldn’t spend twenty dollars and be home in two hours. I learned that I can do many things on my own; I just have to stay determined in order to get through whatever situation I may encounter. I know that I can adjust to most situations.